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'I took the retirement decision because of lifestyle reasons'

Last updated on: March 06, 2010 17:50 IST

He retired from Test cricket to prolong his ODI and Twenty20 career but injury-plagued Australian pacer Brett Lee says he would miss the excitement and challenge that characterises the longer version of the game.

Lee, who is in India to participate in the third edition of the Indian Premier League starting March 12, wants to test his fitness and pace in the upcoming event in a bid to reclaim his position in the national team for the this year's Twenty20 and the 2011 ODI World Cup.

"I am satisfied with my Test career and longevity. All those years were really exciting and challenging for me and I will miss those things. It was a tough decision to call it quit," Lee, who plays for Kings XI Punjab, told PTI.

"I could feel that my body couldn't take any more as Test cricket is more demanding. I took the retirement decision because of lifestyle reasons.

"Then there were injuries and that's the tough time. I just want to prolong my career in ODIs and Twenty20. Want to play some more matches for the country. That's why I took the decision to continue playing in shorter formats," said Lee, who made his Test debut against India in 1999, finishing with seven wickets in the match.

The 33-year-old pacer's career has been hampered by injuries which restricted him to 76 Tests.

Brett LeeOne of the games fastest ever bowlers at his peak, with deliveries recorded at up to 161 kph, Lee has taken 310 wickets for his country, leaving him fourth on the Australian all-time list behind Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee, and 22nd among wicket-takers for all nations.

Lee, who is undergoing rehabilitation with physio Patrick Farhart to get to cricket after a four-month absence with an elbow injury, was unsure of his participation in his team's first IPL match against Delhi Daredevils on March 13. 

"I can't say whether I would be playing the first match or not. I am recovering well from my elbow injury. I've been working very closely with my physio. I am practicing hard in the nets and things are shaping up well," he said. 

Lee, who calls India his second home, was satisfied with the security arrangements made by the organisers and said safety measures for the IPL will leave no room for worry among the players. 

"Security is good and as such there are no concerns. India is a safe place to play. There were certain apprehensions about the security arrangements back home, but that's important and you need to look at it also." 

Australians were wary of coming to India after threats by right-wing Hindu group Shiv Sena. Then there were also threats from the al-Qaeda terror network to disrupt the event. 

But Lee said, "It's great to be back on Indian soil as I love to play here. I know crowd would be expecting some good performances from me and I won't let them disappointed." 

On being asked about the importance of pace in Twenty20 games and whether he would be eyeing the 160 kph record set by Australian pacer Shaun Tait, the cricketer said, "Fast bowling is part of the game and being a fast bowler, I believe pace is always required in all three formats of the game to unsettle the opposition."

"Pace always plays a major role in Twenty20 cricket. It's a fast-paced game and every over counts. So, generation of pace becomes lot more important in T20 format. 

"I am not thinking of breaking any records. Just want to play good cricket. I will not try to break 160 mark barrier set by my Australian teammate Shaun Tait as I have already done (touching 160 kph) it in the past. I will generate pace but not with any records in the mind," he added.

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